Review by Vera Marez, LMFT

This review is of our recent training, Law & Ethics: What Does the Law Expect of Me? Part III, which was presented on November 16, 2013 by CAMFT staff attorney David G. Jensen, J.D. 

A Law & Ethics course is a must for all MFTs. Sitting in a Law & Ethics Workshop for 6-hours can be comparable to a dental visit – boring and painful. Not so with CAMFT Attorney David G. Jensen as he was genuinely engaging while using humor to entertain and tackle the subject of legal expectations in this Part III workshop. Legal information was presented in a logical and simplistic manner. Mr. Jensen’s experience as an attorney in private practice and as CAMFT Staff Attorney for 11 years proved to be invaluable as he’s well informed on MFT legal issues.

Mr. Jensen asked the much feared question: What if someone filed a complaint with the BBS against you? He conveyed BBS issues come down to credibility and recognizing we’re continuously creating credibility. He explained the importance of maintaining the 10 fundamentals of the MFT profession, types of privilege, identifying the patient in unique situations, recognizing and responding to valid subpoenas, understanding laws, your rights, and responsibilities. As he discussed scope of competence, he said “You don’t have to be perfect, just competent.” He stressed the significance of documenting rationale, use of assessments, evaluations, collaterals and clinical consultations. Mr. Jensen stated, “Good records should bark like a dog; loud and clear.”

In the second half of the session, Mr. Jensen made case studies come alive by using the names of Sierra Foothill Chapter MFTs in the studies while pointing out errors that made the subpoenas unenforceable. A plethora of legal information was presented, from confidentiality to waiving or asserting privilege, the role of minor’s counsel, types of witnesses, and pay as expert witness.

Countless questions were asked and answered with a large amount of laughter. The workshop ended with a considerable amount of positive energy filling the room and participants revealing confidences and empowerment. It was a meaningful and informative workshop that was quite entertaining and engaging. Participants continued to ask questions, staying beyond the allotted time, they appeared to really enjoy themselves. While there is much information to be covered in what the law expects of MFTs, this very down-to-earth presentation coupled with humor left participants with a thirst for Part IV.

~ Vera Marez, LMFT

Thank you Vera for this wonderful review!

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